Happy New Year! We’re halfway into January, but I figure New Years goals are for the whole year, right? Not just January.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and the direction I want it to take, and I realized something. I’ve been so concerned with treating Explorography like a polished business, that I wasn’t being myself! How ridiculous is that?! So from now on, I’m going to be nothing but me, honest and raw.

This is a travel blog, though, right? So let’s focus on that.

My situation at the moment: I am working towards being location independent. Someday (hopefully!) soon, I will be working for myself, from my computer, wherever I choose to be that day, whether it’s Paris, or Cairo, or Bangkok, or Bali. I want to be a digital nomad.

But right now? I’m just a regular 26 year old working in a cubicle.

The awesome thing is, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming and working towards my dreams. So my number 1 goal for 2017 is to become location independent. All of my other goals feed into this or stem from it. It is the Goal Supremo.

And since working towards this goal is a huge aspect of my travel-related life right now, I’m going to talk about it here on Explorography! No more pretending and being ashamed of where I am on my path. Because maybe someone reading this blog will be encouraged by watching my journey towards making my dream a reality, and will start taking steps towards that too. It’s a lot easier to be encouraged by someone who’s only a few steps ahead of you on the path than ten miles ahead of you. 

Right now I’m working on building a freelance business doing content writing for travel companies. This is just one of several different ways a person can become location independent, and it’s the one I chose for me. And I’m pumped. I’m making some steady progress with this, but that’s for another blog post. This post is about travel goals for 2017.

Since I’ve decided to make this location independent thing happen this year, I’ve been allowing my mind to wander and lust over various destinations and activities.

Travel Goals for 2017

1. Camping

Confession time: I’ve never gone camping as an adult. The last time I went camping, I was 6 years old attending my uncle’s wedding in Vermont. So this year, I want to go camping at least once. I’ll start with something small, like a weekend in one of the local metro parks. But once you do something once, it’s much less intimidating after that! So maybe after Ohio metro parks, it’ll be a walking tour of Ireland (looking at you, 2018)!

2. New Orleans, LA

For some reason, New Orleans has rooted itself in my brain the last few months, and I can’t seem to shake it. I think it’s an indicator that New Orleans is a must-visit for one of my first destinations as a digital nomad. (It could also be my love for “The Princess and the Frog” Disney movie). There’s just so much diversity in the US, and I’ve witnessed so little of it. I’ve always focused on traveling in Europe in the past. And New Orleans, from what I hear, is one of the most colorful, unique places in the States. Sign me up!

3. House-sitting

House-sitting has become one of the talked about ways to travel long-term on the travel blogs I read, and I can’t wait to try it. There are lots of sites you can use (usually you have to pay a membership fee) to find homes that people post and are looking for someone to look after their dog or water their plants while they’re away. Which gives you a way to travel and stay in accommodations that are much more comfortable (and often super fancy) than hostels or hotels. FO FREE! And sometimes there’s doggies. So double win, triple win, all the wins!

So these are my travel goals for 2017. You can see that they’re not all destinations, and they’re not all exotic or fancy or super ambitious. Because that’s not the point of New Years goals, is it? The point is to grow yourself. Until I’m able to hit the road, my sometimes desk looks like this picture I took when I was getting some work done at a local coffee shop.

I chose to stick to just 3 travel goals because I don’t want to overwhelm myself to the point where I just freak out and don’t do any of it (very common for me). And I chose mostly non-destination goals because these are things that will help me grow as a traveler and as a nomad.

What are your travel goals for 2017? Got any trips lined up already or skills you want to acquire? Maybe this is your year to finally go to that one place you’ve always wanted to go to! I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email at claire@explorography.org . Let’s encourage each other to travel deeply.